Moushumi Das Gupta, Sonepat, Haryana: Work is on at a frantic pace in Haryana’s Kundli, the starting point
of the 135-kilometer Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) — one half of the 271-km ring road being constructed around Delhi to decongest the city.
The six-lane access controlled expressway, coming up at a total cost of Rs 5,673 crore, is being implemented by the National Highways Authority of India, the central road building agency.
“Almost 25% work is complete. We are hopeful that the expressway will be ready by August 2017, the targeted deadline. It will be a huge relief for Delhi commuters who have to suffer pollution and nightmarish traffic jams caused every day by outbound heavy and commercial vehicles passing through the city roads,” NHAI chairman Raghav Chandra told HT.
Chandra along with a team of officials carried out an aerial review of the project on Tuesday.
The expressway will be one of India’s first green roads, entirely lit by solar panels and using flyash, a byproduct of power generation with coal, for embanking the highway.“Up to 30% of earth filling is being done by the waste generated from thermal power plant. So far we have lifted one lakh truckload of flyash from Badarpur, Dadri and Panipat power plant,” said the NHAI chairman.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the project in November last year.
EPE is one half of the peripheral road around Delhi and along with the Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE), which is being implemented by the Haryana government.
The project, which will be access-controlled and will start from Palwal in Haryana and pass through Noida, Ghaziabad and Kundli in Uttar Pradesh, was first approved in 2007. It would be entirely funded by the government under the EPC (engineering procurement and construction) mode.
Chandra said that land acquisition was one of the major challenges that NHAI faced while starting the project. So much so, that the Supreme Court directed the police chiefs of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to provide security for completing the project after several attempts by anti-social elements to disrupt work.
“There was initially lot of resistance from farmers but we have resolved majority of the cases. Farmers have been given higher compensation as per the new land acquisition law,” he said.